Title File type Publiseringsdato Download
Season program catalog Black Box Theater the autumn of 2010. pdf August 2010 Download

Animal Magnetism 3

Animal Magnetism 3 (2010) by Henriette Pedersen is the third and final production in Henriette Pedersen’s trilogy about hysteria, called Animal Magnetism. While the two previous productions discuss female hysteria, the third is about male hysteria.


(Objekt ID 7024)
Object type Production
Premiere December 9, 2010
Produced by Nartmanstiftelsen
Coproducers Galleri Maria Veie, Black Box Teater
Audience Adults
Keywords Contemporary dance, Dance theatre, Performance
Running period December 9, 2010  
Website henriettepedersen

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes

Animal Magnetism 3 rounds up Henriette Pedersen´s work with the term hysteria.

According to the Norwegian encyclopaedia Store norske leksikon hysteria is an "older medical term used to describe dramatic conduct reactions or bodily troubles, often connected to strong, visible and seemingly uncontrollable emotions («hysterical»)." The condition was described on papyrus as early as 1900 B.C and in the Antic Age it was regarded as a condition only affecting women. The word hysteria stems from the Greek hysteria (womb) and is related to the original belief that the illness could be connected to disturbances in the womb. Hysteria ceased to exist as a diagnosis in 1926, to be replaced by diagnoses such as dissociative disorders and dramatising personal disorders.

In Animal Magnetism 1 Henriette Pedersen based her work on hysteria the way it was explained towards the end of the 1800es, in works by Freud among others. In Paris hysterical women were hospitalised in the mental hospital Salpêtriére, where the doctor Jean Martin Charcot worked. Charcot used his patients as objects for hysteria diagnostic research, something which included presenting hysteria for a male audience every Thursday. Ibsen, Bjørnson and Strindberg were all reported to witness these performances and to be inspired of what they got to see.

The term animal magnetism refers to one of the many cures to hysteria. Other recommended therapeutic measures were long walks in the woods, long baths, intimate physical contact, beer from Bayern, hashish, opium, morphine, speaking in tongues, arsenic, electro shock therapy and operations, the latter often done on the sex organs.

In Animal Magnetism 2 (2009) Henriette Pedersen sought to present the passion, the aggression and sexuality of the hysterics. Due to this, the production circles what Pedersen calls the animal woman, the woman the man fears, the dangerous, erotically charged female body out of control, who has left its intellect for the sake of carnal lust. This kind of woman is liberated from the romantic idea about love and sexuality and distances from her original role as a victim in a way enabling her to meet her surroundings in a confident manner.

In Animal Magnetism 3, in which male hysteria is the subject, Henriette Pedersen explores how the masculine role such as it eventually is regarded in 2010 matches the description of male hysteria. Including other things, this production is based on Sigmund Freud’s description of a patient he used to call the Wolf Man. About Wolf Man Pedersen writes the following in the Black Box playbill (translated from Norwegian by Sceneweb's Lillian Bikset): "Wolf Man was one of Freud's most famous patients and perhaps the best known male hysteric in the world. As a little boy Wolf Man showed his penis to several female relatives having problems with it. He was threatened with a knife and punished with massive religious education. In addition he had a dream in which several white wolves sat in a nut tree upon one of which lost his tail. Freud stated anxiety for castration in the patient, constructing a primal scene for his theories to fit. Freud's theory was that Wolf Man as a young boy had witnessed his parents copulate like dogs a heated summer day. Only this sexual position could explain the later symptoms of The Wolf Man.

The question Henriette Pedersen asks is how hysteria developed in men and at which times. With Animal Magnetism 1 and 2 in the back of one’s mind and inspired by Freud's Wolf Man and the history of male hysteria, Animal Magnetism 3 becomes the production to round off the trilogy.

Henriette Pedersen is educated as a choreographer, working with site-specific and performance oriented art. Her works range between performance art, fake vernissages and dance and theatre related performances. In the work with the Animal Magnetism trilogy she combines the different working methods in creating a full-length performance, which later is transformed to more site-specific and performance related performances.

Animal Magnetism was supported by Arts Council Norway, The Audio Visual Fund and the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs/MFA (travel grant/performing arts).

Sources: henriettepedersen, http://henriettepedersen.no, 07.10.2010, http://henriettepedersen.no/ny/

Store norske leksikon, http://snl.no/, 07.10.2010, http://snl.no/hysteri

Black Box Teater Oslo, http://www.blackbox.no/, 07.10.2010, http://www.blackbox.no/katalog/pdf/Katalog_Host_2010.pdf

Autumn program 2010, Avant Garden

Contributors (9)
Name Role
Henriette Pedersen – Choreography
Timo Kreuser – Composition
Sidsel Pape – Dramaturge
Tilo Hahn – Lighting design
Kristine Karåla Øren – Dancer
Fredrik Strid – Performer
Pernille Nonås Mogensen – Producer
Anette Therese Pettersen – Producer
Dagny Drage Kleiva – Consultant (Kostyme- og scenografikonsulent)
Performance dates
May 15, 2011Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre Show
May 14, 2011Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre Show
May 13, 2011Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre Show
May 12, 2011Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre Show
May 11, 2011Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre Show
April 2, 2011 19:00 – Atalante Show
April 1, 2011 19:00 – Atalante Show
March 3, 2011 18:00 – Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
February 27, 2011 19:00 – ASPN Gallery Show
February 26, 2011 19:00 – ASPN Gallery Show
February 5, 2011Galleri Maria Veie Oslo Show
February 4, 2011Galleri Maria Veie Oslo Show
December 12, 2010Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
December 11, 2010Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
December 10, 2010Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Show
December 9, 2010Lille scene (Marstrandgata), Black box teater Worldwide premiere
Festivals (2)
Art Amsterdam May 11, 2011
Marstrand March 3, 2011